Classical & myth-inspired works set to impress at Capsule Auctions, Jan. 27

Frederic Leighton, ‘An Athlete Wrestling a Python,’ est. $50,000-$80,000

Frederic Leighton, ‘An Athlete Wrestling a Python,’ est. $50,000-$80,000

NEW YORK – Capsule Auctions presents New Day Rising: American and European Art, a curated auction of excellent paintings, sculpture, and works on paper from New York and New England collections including the collection of Seymour Stein. The sale takes place Thursday, January 27 at 3 pm Eastern time. Highlights include paintings by Ludwig von Hofmann and Duncan Grant, sculpture by Frederic Leighton and Henri Louis Bouchard, and drawings by Austin Osman Spare and Leonard Tsuguharu Foujita. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

Seymour Stein’s expansive collection boasts multiple works with strong mythological themes, including a bronze sculpture of Apollo, the Greek god of the sun, by the late French sculptor Henri Louis Bouchard. It is estimated at $20,000-$40,000.

Henri Louis Bouchard, ‘Apollo,’ est. $20,000-$40,000

Henri Louis Bouchard, ‘Apollo,’ est. $20,000-$40,000

Equally notable is Endymion, painted circa 1957 by Duncan Grant. As depicted in the painting, which is estimated at $4,000-$6,000, Endymion was a youth who was punished by Zeus to an everlasting sleep. It is said that Selene, goddess of the moon, visited Endymion nightly and is likely the woman who is shown hovering above the sleeping Endymion.

Duncan Grant, ‘Endymion,’ est. $4,000-$6,000

Duncan Grant, ‘Endymion,’ est. $4,000-$6,000

Another highlight of the sale is Austin Osman Spare’s illustration, titled Fighting Fellows. A mountainous landscape serves as the background to the central focus of two men who appear to be engaging in a vigorous dispute. Spare was inspired by Symbolism and Art Nouveau, two art movements that Stein ardently pursued while collecting. Fighting Fellows is estimated at $800-$1,200.

Austin Osman Spare, ‘Fighting Fellows,’ est. $800-$1,200

Austin Osman Spare, ‘Fighting Fellows,’ est. $800-$1,200

Works offered in this curated sale also spotlight the juxtaposition between boyhood and manhood. The vitality and innocence of boyhood can be seen in Ludwig von Hofmann’s painting, Fruhling, which means “Spring” in German. It depicts a group of youths exploring a verdant field with budding trees. Its estimate is $8,000-$12,000.

Ludwig von Hofmann, ‘Fruhling,’ est. $8,000-$12,000

Ludwig von Hofmann, ‘Fruhling,’ est. $8,000-$12,000

In contrast, the struggle of man is evident in a bronze edition of Frederic Leighton’s An Athlete Wrestling a Python, estimated at $50,000-$80,000. Held in a perpetual standoff, the snake, possibly representing the personification of evil and temptation, entangles a man while he grasps the hissing snake by the throat. A life-size iteration of this sculpture debuted at the Royal Academy in 1877 and is currently on display at Tate Modern in London.

 

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